We will be releasing the 2014 Artist lineup and schedule in the Fall, but until then you can re-live the amazing artists we had at the 2013 festival!
Rob Reich grew up in Long Island, New York, studying piano from age three. After graduating with a degree in Music Composition from Oberlin Conservatory of Music, he moved to the San Francisco Bay Area, where he discovered the accordion, now his primary instrument. Reich’s music defies genres, combining a strong melodic sense with a spirit of irrevence and openness. His recent work with Tin Hat can be
heard on their new release “the rain is a handsome animal”. He also plays in the acclaimed Bay Area jazz groups Nice Guy Trio and Gaucho. “Whatever context he’s in, Reich transforms it into a creative hothouse where thousands of musical flowers bloom.” – Andy Gilbert,
East Bay Express.
Areon Flutes, a professional flute chamber music ensemble, provides audiences a fresh new outlook on traditional chamber music. Noted for innovative programming and collaborations, Areon is quickly establishing itself in the USA as a premier chamber music ensemble. The group’s performances are notable for creatively engaging its audiences with unique staging, theatrics, choreography, and using all members of the flute family.
Areon Flutes members Jill Heinke, Kassey Plaha, Amelia Vitarelli, have received high praise for their remarkable performances. Their New York debut in Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall in September 2007 received rave reviews: “These players know what kind of new music pleases audiences and critics alike” and “The group itself was memorable; they are a treat to all the senses” (Anthony Aibel , New York Concert Review). In May 2008, Areon Flutes was awarded the Bronze Medal at the prestigious and internationally recognized Fischoff Chamber Music Competition in Notre Dame, Indiana. This recognition marked the first time in the competition’s 35-year history that a flute chamber music ensemble reached this elite position.
Cornelius Shinzen Boots is a San Francisco Bay Area composer, performer and instructor specializing in single-reeds and flutes. He is a devotee of the Respirational Arts and enjoys sharing his creative visions through albums, compositions, concept performances, classes and books. After extensive performance experience in jazz/big bands, wind/orchestral ensembles and funk & rock bands, he is currently an award-winning composer of heavy chamber music, progressive rock and renegade nature music. Renowned for his powerful, innovative approach to the bass clarinet, he founded Edmund Welles: the bass clarinet quartet in 1996 while training at Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University. Since 2001, Boots has delved into the shakuhachi: a demanding Zen Buddhist bamboo flute of deceptively simple design. His spontaneous sound-structuring ensemble Sabbaticus Rex features gongs, the Bazantar and the Taimu, a bass shakuhachi for which he has also written a series of compositions. In October 2012, he attained Jun Shihan (associate teacher) level and was given the name 深禅 (Shinzen) meaning “depth Zen” or “deep Zen” by his teacher, shakuhachi Grandmaster Michael Chikuzen Gould.
Addleds — the quartet of Kyle Bruckmann (oboe/English horn), Tony Dryer (double bass), Jacob Felix Heule (percussion) and Kanoko Nishi (koto) — explore timbral and textural extremes of distended instrumental technique via improvisation and open-ended compositional strategies. Their music tends towards a brutalist minimalism as informed by the noise underground as by recent developments in the field of free improvisation.
Individually, the members have performed with other groups and regular collaborators across the gamut of new music both local (Basshaters, Ettrick, Ghost in the House, Jacob Lindsay, Pink Mountain, Jon Raskin, Gino Robair, Aram Shelton, Shudder, sfSound) and elsewhere (Michel Doneda, EKG, Boris Hauf, Giuseppe Ielasi, Lozenge, Polwechsel, Jack Wright, C Spencer Yeh). Together, they began developing their collective sound in 2010.
Take every aesthetic of an American rock band: beautifully loud, amplified sound; energetic, audience-engaging performances; light and video backgrounds; continuous, focused, brilliant music. Cross conservatory-trained precision with a love for electronics, experimentalism and math-metal, and you have futureCities. We are Anne Rainwater and Jude Traxler, piano and percussion, New York City. Distilling each work to its most essential elements, futureCities makes art both adventurous and accessible. Bring your friends.
A cross between Eric Dolphy, Meat Beat Manifesto, The Gap Band and Igor Stravinsky, Michael Lowenstern’s sound defies definition; it’s ClassicoFunkTronica. Actively involved with technology in sound and music, Michael has been a pioneer in the field of interactive computer music, having created or performed over a hundred works for bass clarinet and electronics. His collaborations have included remixes for the landmark recording “In C Remixed” (featured on NPR’s RadioLab), Michael Gordon’s video opera “Chaos” and various dance works with David Lang. To date he can be heard on over fifty CDs, including five solo recordings of his own.
Michael lives in Brooklyn, New York.
The Ignition Duo seeks an area of confluence between the streams of classical and extreme musics. They are working to develop a new repertoire that does not merely crossover, but rather exists in the void between the concert hall and the traditional rock venue. In performance the Ignition Duo aims to martially transcend notions of place and belonging, thrusting towards a state of cathartic trance. Ignition Duo is the work of guitarists Ramon Fermin and David Gonzales.
The Oakland Active Orchestra is comprised of some of the most innovative and unique instrumentalists in the bay area. Formed in 2009, the OAO continues the rich tradition of large ensembles that have existed over the past 30 years in the Bay Area creative music scene. The OAO focuses on new and original works composed by members of the ensemble to explore various innovative and traditional techniques in composition and incorporate improvisation to highlight the individual voices of the performers. With Aaron Bennett, Mark Clifford, Rob Ewing, Jordan Glenn, Darren Johnston, Robert Lopez, Sam Ospovat, Theo Padouvas, Crystal Pascucci, Aram Shelton, and Cory Wright.
The San Francisco-based Sqwonk bass clarinet duo is a dynamic and adventurous ensemble that “pushes the envelope of what bass clarinet music can be” (Clarinet Magazine). Sqwonk is devoted to exploring the full expressive range of the bass clarinet, from deep resonances to raucous wails. While grounded in the classical tradition, Sqwonk’s music draws on a wide range of influences, from klezmer to heavy metal to blues to minimalism to free improvisation, creating a repertoire that is strikingly contemporary, yet broadly accessible to a wide audience. Sqwonk has created an entirely new repertoire of bass clarinet duos from scratch, and has released two CDs featuring newly commissioned works by some of America’s most exciting up-and-coming composers.
Moe! Staiano is an experimental composer, drummer, percussionist, songwriter and multi-instrumental performance artist who has been at the forefront of the Bay Area improvisation scene for over a decade. Moe! was a member of Moe!kestra!, Vacuum Tree Head, Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, Mute Socialite and his current project is a post-punk band, Surplus 1980. Moe!’s innovative solo percussion shows feature prepared drum kit, found objects, audio looping and the inventive use of a “percussion guitar” woven in with performance art, which always gets the audience involved and eagerly expectant of what might happen next.
Since joining forces as a professional duo in 2009, San Francisco-based pianists Eva-Maria Zimmermann and Keisuke Nakagoshi – ZOFO – have thrilled audiences with their dazzling artistry and outside-the-box programming for piano-four-hands.
ZOFO has performed at Carnegie Hall, University of Maryland, Swiss Embassy Washington, and venues in San Francisco, Colorado, Arizona, Virginia and Switzerland. Achievements include First Place: 2010 Bradshaw & Buono International Piano Competition; Finalists: 2011 Osaka International Chamber Music Competition; Multi-disc recording contract with Grammy Award-winning Sono Luminus Records.
In spring 2012, Sono Luminus released ZOFO’s first CD – MIND MELD – featuring works by Bernstein, Harold Shapero, Debussy and Stravinsky. MIND MELD has attracted positive critical attention and widespread airplay on radio stations across the US. This September ZOFO recorded their second album – MOSH PIT – with dance-themed works by 20th century American composers Gershwin, Corigliano, Barber, Shawn, Nancarrow, and Schoenfield. Release in spring 2013. ZOFO is deeply committed to enriching the one-piano-four-hands repertoire by commissioning new works each year.
Billygoat is a project which combines stop-motion photography and a live musical performance. It birthed in 2006 when David Klein began to experiment with the idea of creating animated pieces that would span over long periods of time and slowly evolve alongside him and his partner Nick Woolley. After 6 years of consistently nurturing this self-taught process, they’ve been able to write music and create five hand-made short films. Each piece has it’s own theme, hidden storyline, and classical undercurrent that can take an audience on a surreal and emotional tour of their fantastic reality. Billygoat performed with the films Dioscuri and The Golden Age at Switchboard’s 2011 festival. This year they will perform two more recent pieces Sophia and Lyric with the idea of merging classical and modern technique. David and Nick live up in Portland with their dog Kobe and are honored to be returning to the bay area for the Switchboard Festival.
Build is a Brooklyn-based indie-classical band consisting of Matt McBane, violin/compositions; Andrea Lee, cello; Michael Cassedy, piano; Ben Campbell, bass; and Adam D. Gold, drums. Both in its make-up and music, Build is fundamentally a hybrid group. Since forming in December 2006, it has developed a body of work and a performance style that draw on (to name few) minimalist chamber music, instrumental rock, modal jazz, American fiddle music, experimentalism, and film music, reflecting Matt’s interests as a composer and the backgrounds of the band members. Time Out New York described Build as a “quintet that straddles the increasingly permeable line between chamber music and instrumental rock.”
Subharmonic is the sound of the Left Coast’s most in demand horn section, unleashed by some of today’s heaviest rhythmic grooves. By using any means necessary, the 5 multi-instrumentlists of Adam’s Subharmonic create the sound of everything from a futuristic Mega -Orchestra to 1920s Cotton Club Dubstep by sampling, looping, layering and manipulating an array of brass instruments. Trombone, Trumpet, Sax, Clarinet and Tuba all lock in with remixed electro/acoustic rhythms from Max Roach and Charles Mingus to Brass/Jazz remakes of Joni Mitchell, Radiohead, J Dilla or Skrillex. Modern-drumming mastermind Brandon Werlin, appears as half man/half machine, attacking the titanic rhythms on both the acoustic drumkit as well as a battery of drum samplers, touch screens and other equipment that is so new there aren’t even names for it yet. In only 6 months since their first show, the group has performed at San Jose Jazz Festival, The Mezzanine SF, Guitarfish Festival and 2 shows at the legendary Fillmore in SF.